I Will Be a Writer When…
Many of us live in a “labyrinth of self-imposed limitations” (thanks to one of my self-publishing students, Linda English, for that phrase).
Especially when it comes to our creativity.
And double-especially when it comes to owning ourselves as writers, or artists, or whatever creative pursuit or ambition we’re holding off on…
We say: “I will be a writer when…”
I can take a year off work to write my book…
When my children are grown up…
When I have the time…
When I retire…
When I’m good enough…
When I know everything on the topic…
When I have an agent…
I have heard all these and more from friends and students of mine. What is YOUR line?
I will be a writer when…
“I always knew I’d write, but in my head thought it would be after I reached 40. Now I wonder why I put those limits on myself!” says another student on the course.
Oh how I know those words. I always knew I was going to be a writer too.
But I needed permission. From someone, somehow.
I looked at the covers of my favourite books and all the authors, it seemed, were Dr So and So… with (PhD) in tiny writing underneath.
I need a doctorate to be allowed to write… so that people will take me seriously.
Dr Lucy Pearce…
And so I started on that path, spending weeks and months searching out the perfect PhD, which would teach me the knowledge I needed… and give me the title which would give me the ticket to my dreams.
Which would let me be the writer I always wanted to be.
But there was nowhere in Europe that taught any sort of course that interested me. And the only ones in the US took 5 years… and cost $150K… by the time I’d finished I’d be wanting to have children.
So I laid my dream of being an author to rest. If I couldn’t get a PhD, I wouldn’t be a writer.
And so I did the the next best thing. I trained to teach other people to write.
I can only write when I have the time…
And then I got pregnant. And I really knew my dreams were over. Everyone knows that mothers don’t have time to be writers.
I wrote articles sure. But books. That dream had to be put aside for 20 years.
And then another couple of kiddies came along and I hammered the nails into my book coffin. I didn’t have the time or the space. So how could I be a writer?
I can only be a writer when I have a proper writing desk… a quiet space to write…
And so I bought a writing desk. Which I never used. A friend lent me a shed to write in… which I never got to use.
When I get a new computer…
But then one day, when all three kiddies were sick with chicken pox, and idea for a book hit me so strong. And I started to write, and write, on sheets of computer paper… with three itchy kids perched on my lap, wriggling and moaning.
This was not the vision I had of what it meant to be a writer. I was supposed to be shut away in a beautiful book-lined study, with a desk.
In less than a month I had the outline. The first three chapters. Two months later I sent it off to publishers.
I need a publisher to be a writer...
Everyone knows that.
And then, to keep myself occupied, I wrote another book. Which was only going to be an e-book. So it was OK to do it myself. But then the people I showed it to, wanted to hold it in their hands. So just like that, THEY had decided that I was going to be an author.
And so, just like that, I was.
But even then, I was “just” a self-published author. And then another couple of books came along. And a publishing contract. And then being a publisher.
My books have now been read by several thousand women. Around the world.
And even now, I wonder… am I really a writer? Each time I sit down to put words down, I have to fight the gremlins of “not good enough”.
I’m not a good enough writer to be a writer…
And so, dear reader… if you have a limitation on being a writer. I invite you to question its validity. Because, maybe, just maybe, this sold gold truth that is standing in your way, isn’t truth at all. Maybe it is simply self-imposed.
Maybe the only thing that stands between you and your dreams is actually a thought.
So how about…
Write that book.
Self-publish it too.
Even if it is not, even if you are not, perfect.
Chances are you never will be.
Chances are there’ll never be the “perfect” time.
So that means you’ll never get to write your book.
So why not start now?
Let it be good enough.
Just do it.
* This is not to discount the need for books to be accurate and well-researched, and for you to have experience as a writer and in your field before you write. Those cannot and must not be the baby thrown out with the bath water. But there is no such thing as the perfect time. Or knowing everything. Just enough. Enough knowledge. And knowing that you can update your book as your knowledge expands. Which it will. Until the day you die.
That’s what real authors do.
Or they write another book.
The course cart for the Be Your Own Publisher e-course closes on Sunday. As a closing gift, I am offering it to you at 50% off. Just $149 when you use the magic code: IAMAWRITER There are two whole modules which focus specifically on dealing with these gremlins and building up your confidence. Plus a wonderful private community page on Facebook where students are working through these blocks right now together.
Do join us… let me support you on your journey.